Keith White Jr. Steps into President Role as Keith White Sr. Shifts to Board Oversight
We’re thrilled to congratulate AirPro Fan & Blower Company founder Keith White Sr. as he moves closer to retirement in the role of Chief Executive Officer focused on Board oversight, with Keith White Jr. stepping into the role of President as of July 1, 2023. The transition is the culmination of our years-long succession plan, with co-founder Marty Mathews retaining oversight of engineering and technology development.
“I’m thankful for the vision and courage Keith Sr. has had in the founding of AirPro and the wisdom with which he has managed the succession plan,” said Mathews. “I’m also excited at the potential for the company’s growth with Keith Jr.’s leadership for the future.”
Succession Planning Success
Nearly two years of extensive succession planning to build out a deeper leadership team across all aspects of the business meant that our organization was ready for the transition. That doesn’t mean no one was surprised. Keith Sr. has been deeply involved every step of the way, and some people saw him staying close to day-to-day operations indefinitely.
“After the last few years, which have been both the most challenging and the most successful, I knew it was time to hand over the keys. I was ready, the team was ready, and Keith was ready. He’s more prepared to run a company of this size than I ever was,” White Sr. explains. “I did what I set out to do in starting a company that would create good jobs in Rhinelander, lasting support for our community, and reliable, innovative solutions for customers. 20-plus years later, we’re strong, stable, and ready for what’s next.”
Since its founding in 2002, our employee-owned company has expanded from the four original founders to an employee-owned company of nearly 125 and growing. Recently, we built out our management team with an eye toward meeting customer demand in real-time and building strength for the future.
Achieving near-perfect on-time delivery for 10 consecutive months (and counting) while announcing multiple lead-time reductions and driving a continued pace of record growth, our strategy of building talent locally, delivering quality, and insisting on reliability is on track for success. The team in place includes:
- Sean Codere, Operations
- Brian Waidzulis – Production (North)
- Scott Gebele – Production (West)
- Drew Wallschlaeger – Production (East)
- Jason Giese – PurchasingDeanna Olds – HR & Benefits
- Ryan Nehls – Quality & Safety
- Dave Wingard – Product Development
- Kyle Keuhneman – IT & Innovation
- Seth Mathews – Design
- Chet White – Sales & Marketing
- Roy Kelling – Facilities & Maintenance
“The way my Dad set up the succession plan is more impressive than any I’ve heard about, and the board agrees,” affirms Keith Jr. ”The transition feels easy because we are so ready for it. The company is stronger than ever, and each leader is in a role they have helped create over the past several years.”
Ready for What’s Next
On pace to beat the company’s 15 percent growth goal for the year, what’s next should feel both familiar and exciting.
“I have enormous confidence in this team to continue Dad’s legacy while also continuing to evolve,” Keith Jr. explains. “Watch for our entrepreneurial spirit to drive even more innovation built on the stable foundation we’ve built together over the last two decades. I envision ideas climbing the ladder, and we’re going to have fun saying yes and trying new things. I’m very excited and honored to carry it forward.”
Knowing Keith Jr.’s style of strategic, honest, direct leadership and generally calming presence, the team is equally confident in the current transition and the possibilities.
“It’s either the people driving it forward, or you’re going the wrong way,” Keith Jr. emphasizes. “We’re going in the right direction, and we’re going to keep growing it.”
For more information on our company, culture, and approach to doing business, check out these additional articles:
- AirPro’s Commitment to End-User Customers
- Maintaining an Attitude of Reliability
- AirPro Earns ISO 9001:2015 Certification
- Founders’ Message: Quality of Work, Quality of Life